More small cities reject the mega Olympics

In September, when the International Olympic Committee (IOC) announced  that Paris and Los Angeles will be respectively hosting the 2024 and 2028 Olympics, IOC president Thomas Bach called it a ‘win-win-win’. Indeed, the two cities were the only candidates.

Announcing two hosts at once is not the common practice, yet the withdrawal of the three other 2024 host candidates, Budapest, Hamburg and Rome, may hint the reasonings behind this special arrangement.

The situation for the 2022 Winter Olympics was similars. With originally six bids, only two cities, Almaty, Kazakhstan and Beijing, China stayed until the final election. Candidate city Oslo, Norway and applicant cities Kraków, Poland and Stockholm, Sweden dropped their bids due to the lack of public support.

Cities, or their inhabitants, are being less willing to host the Olympics Games. For the Summer Olympic Games in the 1990s and 2000s, the IOC used to have 5 to 6 candidate cities to choose from.

In the past, the IOC chose the cities. Now, cities are not choosing the IOC, or their games.

In light of cities having declined interest in hosting the Games, some suggested the games may need a permanent home, several rolling locations, and even decentralised spots for different competitions, in the future.

Today, at the Play the Game conference, a panel discussed on the mechanism of mega-events. Why are less cities interested in hosting the Olympics? Let’s see what the speakers told On the Game:


The speakers are (according to their order of appearance):

Christopher Gaffney, Independent Scholar, Geography, NYCO, USA

Emanuel Mello Mattos, Doctorate candidate, Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Ryan Gauthier, Assistant Professor, Thompson Rivers University, Canada

(Feature photo: Christopher Gaffney, visiting professor at Universidade Federal Fluminense, Brazil, giving his presentation ““Não vai ter Copa”: Brazilians vs. Brazil 2014”. Photo taken by Thomas Søndergaard/ Play the Game)

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